Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Provincial Court ordering a Defendant (insured by ICBC) to pay over $20,000 in vehicle depreciation after a crash.
In the recent case (Chiang v. Kunar) the Plaintiff purchased a Mercedes for just over $68,000. The following year the Plaintiff was involved in a crash caused by the negligence of the Defendant. The crash caused over $34,000 in repair costs leaving the vehicle far less valuable after repairs. The Plaintiff sued to recover the value of this accelerated depreciation but ICBC argued that there was no loss. In siding with the Plaintiff, who to his credit succeeded in litigation while self represented, The Honourable Judge K. Arthur-Leung provided the following reasons:
I am satisfied that the Claimant has met the burden of proof, and that this low to mid-level luxury vehicle was indeed a customized vehicle that was in the high end of its own category of Mercedes Benz, and sustained accelerated depreciation. The Bill of Sale shows thousands of dollars of extras that he ordered for this Vehicle. It was a rare vehicle at the time that it was initially in the Vancouver market, and the experts both testified that it remains an in demand vehicle if it was not in an accident.
In addition, the decision of Rutter v. Adams, 2016 BCSC 554 (CanLII) at paragraph 314 relies upon Signorello v. Khan, 2010 BCSC 1448 (CanLII) to include quantification that “…such losses can include a ‘loss of use and the inconvenience of having to return the vehicle on several occasions’.” In addition, in Cummings v. 565204 BC Ltd., 2009 BCSC 1009 (CanLII), the Court relied upon Reinders v. Wilkinson, 1994 CanLII 2527 (BC CA), 1994 CanLII 2527 (BCCA) that it is not necessary for the party to sell the vehicle in order to succeed in a claim for accelerated depreciation. The damage sustained to this Vehicle was not merely cosmetic and required significant repair, to wit it remains outstanding with ongoing operational and mechanical problems…
THEREFORE THIS COURT ORDERS JUDGMENT TO THE CLAIMANT AGAINST THE DEFENDANTS, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY AS FOLLOWS:
a) The amount of $20,700.00, for accelerated depreciation of the Vehicle ($18,000.00 plus 15% tax);
b) Interest on the sum of $20,700.00 as of February 26, 2015, in accordance with the Court Order Interest Act;
c) The amount of $1,990.08 in general damages as claimed by the Claimant;
d) Interest on the sum of $1,990.08 as of May 9, 2016, in accordance with the Court Order Interest Act;
e) The amount of $472.50 for the cost of the Coast Auto Appraisal Report;
f) Court attendance fees of Mr. Sparrow of Coast Auto Appraisal in the amount of $1,155.00;
g) Court filing fees in the amount of $156.00; and
h) Service fees in the amount of $30.00.